I just received an email from the First Presidency on the message of Christmas "He is the Gift".
No...I'm not buddies with the prophet...he doesn't email me and ask for replies ...I just have an account with LDS.org and I think we all are starting to get these emails in our inbox.
So...Christmas...a great time to think of a great message. Right?
We often talk on this board about literal vs mythical, historical vs allegorical, visitation vs vision. So...how do you feel about Christmas?
I'm not talking about the Santa Claus story...I'm talking the true meaning of Christmas...the birth of Jesus, with the virgin birth and angels and Herod and shepherds and magi and stars.When one goes deeply into these texts, it also becomes obvious that even the original authors of Matthew and Luke never intended their stories to be accounts of something that actually happened. That is something Western believers have imposed on these biblical texts. It was Dr. Jeffrey John, a New Testament scholar in the United Kingdom, who first identified these birth narratives for me as "haggadic midrash," by which he meant that they are part of the ongoing Jewish storytelling tradition crafted out of the pieces of the Jews' sacred past. They were designed to introduce Jesus, who in his adult life made people believe that a God presence had appeared in human history, in a unique way into this life. They were not intended to say anything factual about the details of his birth.
Read more here
- Have you been comfortable with the story of Christmas (or parts of it) not being literal, but you have struggles with Joseph Smith's experiences, or the Book of Abraham, or the multiple First Vision accounts when you found out they didn't seem to happen as you thought?
- Do you feel lied to by the world for presenting the Christmas story literally, when it is only recently they are acknowledging it isn't?
- How does Christmas compare to other topics in Mormonism that seem to jar people from their faith?
- Do you believe in Christmas still, or do you see less value in it than you used to, even if it didn't literally happen as told?